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10 Foods That Seem Healthier than They Actually Are

Updated on November 1, 2018
Filip Stojkovski profile image

I'm a computer programmer and game developer who is also deeply curious about the arts, philosophy, health, and psychology.

Most of us would rather choose a healthy food over unhealthy. Sometimes certain foods are marketed as healthy and have such reputation but when you look more closely they are very processed. They contain a lot of additives, preservatives, sodium, hidden sugars and fats etc. You can see it when you look at the ingredient list, and of course the longer the ingredient list is the less healthy the food is in general.

1. Salads Packed with a Lot of Dressing and Other Add-Ons

Salads can be very tricky and they can be either low in calories or very high depending on how they are prepared. If they have a lot of add-ons in them (such as fatty dressings, mayonnaise, chips, croutons, bacon, cheese etc.), a lot more compared to the amount of vegetables, you can safely assume the salad is closer to junk food than a salad, packed with a lot of fats, additives and other chemicals from the dressing, sugars and sodium. Sometimes these salads can contain even more calories than common junk foods.

2. Cereals

Cereals often come to mind when we think of healthy food. However many brands, especially ones that are produced for children are packed with a lot of sugar. In fact it can be kind of difficult to find cereals for kids that are decent without added sugar and refined carbohydrates.

3. Fat Free Sweet-Flavored Yogurts

Plain yogurt is usually good as it contains probiotics, protein and calcium. But flavored sweet yogurts are usually full of sugar and lower in good nutrients especially if they are marketed as fat free.

4. Most Things Marketed as Fat Free, Reduced Fat or Low-Fat

When something is labeled as 'fat free' of 'low fat' it usually has more added sugar in it, or other chemicals to preserve the taste that is lost by removing the fat. The label low-fat is added to appeal to customers and make the product seem like it's less ''fattening'' when in reality it can be loaded with calories.

5. Many Whole-Wheat Breads

Similarly to cereals a lot of breads are marketed as 'whole-wheat' when in fact they mostly contain refined carbohydrates and a just a small amount of whole-wheat flour. Of course you can find real whole-wheat bread but it’s more difficult and you need to look at the ingredients to see what kind of flour it is really made from.

6. Flavored Rice Cakes and Crackers

Rice cakes can seem so healthy, but often contain lot of sodium, carbohydrates and added oils and flavors to make them taste better. They also don’t have much nutritional value and very little fiber so they don’t make you feel very full and are not ideal for your digestive system.

7. Dried Fruits

Fresh fruits are usually better than dried fruits. Especially because of the fact that many manufacturers add sugar in the dried fruit making it very high in calories. It’s also much easier to eat a lot of dried fruit compared to fresh fruit, because the portions are smaller. So you end up eating a lot of sugar as a result.

8.Some Granola and Protein Bars

Granola Bars and protein bars are generally marketed as healthy but some of them are full of sugar and don’t fill you up much. In fact in terms of calories granola bars can be even worse than regular chocolate candy bars. Many protein bars, if not most of them are loaded with refined carbohydrates to make them taste better.

9. Fruit Juices

Juices are much lower in healthy nutrients, compared to eating plain fruit. In fact, we can say that juices are mostly plain sugar and water and are almost as unhealthy as a sugary drink. Especially fruit juice that is sold in supermarkets. When you take the fiber away from the fruit and squeeze the liquid, what you get mostly is sugar and water and a small amount of vitamins and antioxidants.

10. Some Fish

While fish can be very healthy for you, it depends a lot on where they come from. Farm fish can sometimes contain diseases, toxins, parasites and are also fed unhealthy foods and kept in poor environments.


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